Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Mind by G.E.M. Anscombe

By G.E.M. Anscombe

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Every locus is composed in any location of a unison and multiple resonances, and the two together compose its ingredients in that location. I have begun to develop the notion of ergonality in this discussion: "what" a being is, in any sense of that term, is a function of location. Every sense of being, every identity or property of a being, is variable with and a function of locationthough not always variable with every location. The local categories here are not kinds of being, genera of being, properties of beings, but functional distinctions relevant to location.

They have the same territory but neither conflict nor interact. "9 This suggestion has seemed unintelligible to many readers, that freedom and causality might overlap without conflict. Yet Kant's view contains profound insights into the heterogeneity of reason. At one extreme, practice includes whatever a human being does, therefore, all human production and expression. Here, science and philosophy, along with art, are subaltern forms among more inclusive forms of practice. Such a view is incompatible with locality, for practice has been made all-inclusive at the expense of its conditions.

From this point of view, practice is one of Page 16 many distinct forms of life. Yet this view may also be incompatible with locality, defining absolute junctures in the fabric of human experience. Both extremes require important qualifications. To add to the confusion, there is the ambiguity in English of ''practices" that are not practical, such as science and art, forms of life that are not predominantly concerned with outcomes, though they have their work. There is a modest dialectical rejoinder to the extremes: in response to synthetic tendencies to unify all forms of human life into one, we may emphasize the plurality of faculties or disciplines, the differences between them; in response to a plurality of autonomous spheres, each with authority over its own territory, we may emphasize both how the spheres interact and how authority belongs to human life in general, or to nature, not to a particular discipline that cannot establish its own authority.

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